Thursday, September 27, 2007

Amsterdam: A Photo Journey: Thursday Thirteen... Attempt 7

Thirteen photos from My trip to Amsterdam

I just bought a scanner, I've been meaning to do that for quite a long time, since I'm really lazy it took this long. Anyway I wanted to scan some pictures. As I was going through my album I decided to do a photologue of my Amsterdam trip in 2004. I just love that city, it was tough to stick to 13 but I had to as this Thursday 13 not 130. So I picked some of my favorites. We were a group of around 10 friends and to say that we had a ball would be an understatement

1. Dam Square is the physical center of the city and embodies the essence of Amsterdam. You can sit for hours and watch, there are people walking, cycles, trams, buses, cars and taxis on the same road which is hundreds of years old.

2. The Royal Palace on Dam Square. Jacob van Campen designed this building as a city hall, which it was until 1808, when Napoleon's brother Louis Bonaparte ruled Holland for 5 years. He thought the building fit for a king, and ever since this has been the official palace for the reigning queen or king of the Netherlands.

3. Leidseplein is a small square, with numerous bars and and street performers; everything from jugglers and fire-eaters to percussionists, mime players and clowns. If you look at the street lamp you'll see one acrobat

4. Rembrandtplien, which at night becomes quite the hotspot!

5. At Vondelpark which is the largest park of the city, close to the Leidseplein and the big museums. Filled with people, both visitors and locals. It's really beautiful

6. Getting on one of the trams that takes you from one part of the city to another. They are adorable.

7. Sitting outside the Van Gogh museum - that was such a trip. One of my dreams come true. Unfortunately the 250-room Rijksmuseum,[the one in the background], which contains a handful of exquisite Vermeers and one of the best Rembrandt collections in the world, was closed for renovation:(

8. Enjoying a cold beer

9. I think this is Jordaan - an easygoing and peaceful area, with lots of bars, restaurants and interesting little shops.

10. The canals are one of the major attractions of the 'Venice of the North'. They look so pretty and at night when the lights are on and the bridges are illuminated, the entire place looks enchanted. The four main city center canals are Prinsengracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Singel, and of course there are numerous smaller canals.

11. Don't remember where this is - just remember that I had gone shopping .

12. We ate a lot - it was fun sitting and watching people pass by!

13. This was the Dance Valley - a dance festival attended by around 40-50000 people. It's hardcore fun!

(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

1. Finding Life's Enchantments
2. Echoes of Grace

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Walk like an Egyptian...

I was waiting at the hospital, and decided that instead of getting impatient and ill-tempered as I usually do when I have to wait, I'd people watch, and a hospital and especially one in Dubai is the best place to do that [there are people from all over the world here].

I noticed a really funny thing, now mind you, this is just a hypothesis which has been induced after a few random observations and would need much deeper investigation to be proved or disproved. And of course this will be a continuing endeavor in which hopefully you all can help as well.

So my hypothesis or observation is this:
People from different parts of the world walk differently. Arabs have a different walk, Indians a different one, Central Europeans a different one.

Seriously I'm not joking. I realized this as I saw a woman's back as she was walking past me, she was wearing the traditional Arabic dress, the long black coat [abaya] but the way she was walking was not like an Arab [the women look like they are gliding when they walk, and this one was walking very purposefully]. So to assuage my curiosity I walked to the cashier a little ahead and lo and behold I was right although she was wearing the hijab, she wasn't an Arab [different language]. After that I watched a few more people and a fascinating pattern emerged and I decided this is something that I'll investigate further.

I intend to continue observing people to see whether this was a random occurrence or do people from different parts of the world do have a different walk. Maybe I'll have to broaden my groups but it seems like it'll be a fun thing to do.

Have you noticed this?

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's all relative

Have you noticed how the same thing can invoke two very different reactions and feelings in us. A cool breeze on a hot summer's day can feel heavenly but the same breeze when we are cold and don't have a shawl can be most wretched and unbearable. When we are sad everything seems ordinary, the most beautiful picture that may have moved us to tears of joy at other times can appear lackluster.

There are so many examples of this phenomenon happening, all of us have been through experiences that have at one time made us feel over the moon with joy and other times left us cold.

So maybe it's not the experience or the thing that is in itself sad or happy, pleasant or unpleasant, but us who embody those experiences with meaning. So these terms are relative to our moods and our inner states, to the time and space we are inhabiting at that moment.

A flower on its own is neither beautiful or non-beautiful it is a person who makes it beautiful.

P.S.: We move in circles - I had written something very similar to this in April - one of my first few posts. So my development is not linear it's spiral...round and round [that's not good]

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I got a message from my best friend today. Her husband's cousin just 35, was going to meet his mom and it was late, he didn't want to drive as he was too sleepy so he decided to call a cab. On the way to the airport the taxi rammed into a stationary truck killing both.

She asked me how does a family deal with such a thing. I didn't know what to say.
This was my reply

Dear Bis
Death is so difficult for the ones left behind - it seems so arbitrary and sudden. I just don't know what to say - it's a concept that cannot be grasped as its not possible to experience it first then talk about it, at best it can just be mourned. I can't even begin to imagine what his mother must be going through. I am so sorry for the whole family.

It seems so senseless that we have to make plans when we don't even know about tomorrow. I think in that way human beings are really brave - noble even.

At first I used to think that we were arrogant to make plans when we didn't know what tomorrow could bring forth, but now I think we are courageous. God has put forth the most difficult task on our shoulders. He EXPECTS us to live, to make plans all the while knowing that all those plans can come to naught the next second.

My condolences again :(

So how do we do it?

Note: Death and the concept of death holds for people who don't believe in God as well - so what are your opinions?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Erratic Much?

Hey everyone - have been really erratic with my blogging and looks like the coming two weeks are going to be insane. So I apologize for not commenting the way I do normally, as well as taking so long to reply to the comments left behind. Hopefully things should settle down soon. I miss not having time for my blog :(

Edited to add:- Before I forget again I must thank Blur and Michelle for giving me the 'Nice Matters' Award and also apologize for taking so long to say thank you. Marzie had given me this award earlier on and I had thanked her, but thank you again:)
And thank you to
Titania for the 'You Make me Smile' award.

Well! Getting it made me smile:)

Warning :another postcard coming up........ *grins sheepishly*

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I posted this on Paisley's wonderful blog called The Ink Pot, which I think is simply fabulous. I love contributing to it...

So today I though I'd publish the postcard version of the poem here. As you all know by now that I have a personality disorder bordering on obsessive-compulsive and indeed making postcards has joined the list of my various obsessions.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Nonsense Story Meme

Twisted Sisters from Twisted Sister...totally pissed off tagged me with this “nonsense story meme…”

I checked it out on their site and was laughing at the story - a much needed laugh. It is a clever meme which does not center around a person. It's a wacky story and its fun.

Here are the rules from Gracie’s site.
1. Copy and paste the story below, and the rules, on your blog.
2. Find out who you’re going to tag. (2-3 people, or more, if you wish)
3. Write one or two sentences to continue the story, and use the titles of the blogs you’re tagging or any word(s) associated with them as keywords in the links you include in your part of the story.
4. Remember to tell your taggees that you’ve tagged them!
5. Feel free to use this and start your own viral link story. I’d very much appreciate a link back to Mother’s Home! if you do. (Or a tag, if you prefer!)

Here’s the beginning:

Mother’s Home! the cave troll yelled. I have been out all day strangling chickens like CRAZY! for the evil Empress. All i want now is a MOment to myself, but i keep getting Linda talking Drivel, but that is better than a certain someone Mooing. Then suddenly what should appear but the NOT evil Empress and all her strangled chickens and Mags cooked them all up and made us a lovely cake to eat. Gracie wanted all the cake for herself but the NOT evil Empress was able to hack off a good sized slab for herself!!! Ha ha ha, Gracie belched loudly after eating all the scrumptious cake that Mags had baked and watched Callie scrappin’ with Sarge about who was gonna win Big Brother 8. Sarge started humming “Dixie,” and almost choked on the bite of cake in his mouth! So he got some coffee to go to wash down the cake. The coffee helped a bit but he had to vocalize before he started singing again so he began, “Mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi mi…”

…who heard him all the way from Bloggingham Palace and said, “Where is that awful noise coming from? Is there a sick wailing Wacky Mom loose in the woods?” She said, “I’ll bet Songbird can teach him to sing!” but she was busy BONDing in the desert with Kathleen who sat writing heresy in her diary. She was absolutely no help. So Mi-Mi asked Kat to put him on the PP&P list to save his sorry soul. Alas, Ralph the Airhead made a new batch but the Patti-cakes fell in Polliwog’s Pond and nobody got to eat cake after all! It was all Bee’s fault (somehow). Feeling sorry for herself, she pranced over to Odat’s for a dance but she only heard strange mumbling…

That mumbling, however, resulted from The Alien Next Door trying to clone Justin Stanely’s Weblog. The meticulous and risky cloning occurred throughout several millennia, past, present, and future. Or so it seemed; no one could keep count. It was just too much. The mind-numbing years had finally sublimed the earth into a pristine Bobbarama. All well and good, said Bob, but whatever happened to the rules? Before anyone got hurt, however, enough stars fell and crashed to alert Sci-Fi Girl, who grabbed her laptop and returned to the woods, where Mimi’s Dating Profile popped up, allowing a lion to lie happily next to a lamb…

Now, the insane writer burst into the forest, kissing the dogwood and sat on the lion, spinning tales about sci-fi girl’s boyfriend, sci-fi guy, who had his eye on [her] DNA, which he was hoping to sell for anything goes. But just then the mad goat lady and the drowsey monkey pranced into the forest and sang a truly quiet symphony, which annoyed the insane writer.

“What’s that funky sound?” screamed sci-fi guy.

“Well, it sure isn’t a raspberry-latte!” grumbled the insane writer. “Get a grip, sci-fi guy! You’re my main character! I expect you to know how to split an atom! Ignore that woman and her indolent pet! Now, go and do your dastardly thing!”

Kissing the dogwood had been a lure, a trap set by the Mighty Morgan to take control of the BlogWood. Those petulant witches disguised as writers must be eradicated, them and their man slaves. She stuck her talons into the lion with A Twist and a Skewer till it rolled over and laughingly pleaded to go back to Neverland where it had been extremely happy. Her faithful followers, the Gargons grouped around her skirt folds, drooling and kissing her hem in adoration. “Here, take this poison” she commanded, “why? (asked) paisley“, the only rebel in the camp. “To blight their computers my little friends, it’s a special potion A Bit of This and a Dash of the Other“…she smiled mysteriously in her best Mae West accent and set off in search of the Englebert Humperdink Fan Club.

well they searched all over boricua in texas….till they found just write road… aha this was the place… if they could just get in the front row,, surely that was the place that screamed “flash your knickers here“… and oh yes… they would… in doing so they could only hope to distract the masses long enough for the twisted sisters to sneak in with the special potion they had cooked up………

Disguised as margarita's with colorful umbrellas, they sipped the potion while sitting in a nice place in the sun until they were laughing hysterically and begging for more comedy. Meanwhile, a random Magus roamed the woods searching for the golden icon that was being guarded by the Priory of Firefox.
The icon held all the secrets of the blogging world, and these secrets were to remain hidden for all time...

We have to climb this tree of magically changing heights to get to the dangerous land of Greg's Brain for there we can unlock the secret of the icon, the icon called Remedial Rumination - what did it mean?. They crossed amel's realm but the passageway was really dark, where is Titania Starlight when you need her we could do with some of her shining, said Meleah Rebeccah
The two of them looked at each other and then gazing into the abyss...they had an idea, an idea so brilliant....they laughed hysterically - Rubyshooz...but of course they will take us there
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Monday, September 3, 2007

Intentions v/s Actions [post # 100]

Ever since Greg's comments on my 'Is there an Athena living in my Head too' post, I have been grappling with the intention vs action issue, or debate, or whatever you want to call it.

If it's our actions that make us who we are, then what happens when we do apparently 'good' things, like being kind to someone or helping others but we do it with the bad/selfish/self-serving/fake intentions?

Then in the debate of intentions vs actions which one matters more, which one makes the cut so to speak. Out of the two, thinking about doing good but not translating it into action or doing good but not with the purest of intentions at all, which one is the better or worse.

I am really puzzled by this!

P.S. Unrelated - but this is my 100th post. So I made a little postcard via my latest obsession... making postcards ;)

Zakman made me the cutest poster ever and for that I am so touched – thank you from the pit of my heart

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fab 4

The beautiful HollyGl tagged me with the fun, "Fab Four" meme. So here it is. I made it on the postcard site and figured out how to grab a screen on a Mac [apple, shift, and 4 - the cursor becomes a bull's eye and then you select the area and bam it's done]. The original 1 and 2 can be found in the links provided. Then I read a post by Phil from Thoughtsparks in which he had mentioned a program called Jing which did just that. Thank you, Phil.

P.S.: Are you guys having problems with Blogger as well? For some people's new posts don't show then I have to check in Technorati and access them through there.